One little boy’s dream come true

We have spent the past year listening to the same daily (sometimes more than once) request from Keats:
“When can I start violin lessons?”  Our answers have changed over time, the early ones not taking his request to be a serious one.  As time has passed his interest has seemed to increase rather than decrease, and my answer went from, “I don’t know” to “Maybe next fall” to “Okay, I’ll call the studio.”
What he didn’t hear were the discussions of how exactly we would afford one more thing.  But we’ve made changes, and done what’s needed so that we can give Keats this gift.
On Tuesday, Keats and I (and Silas of course!) made the journey to a small Richmond violin shop to rent a violin and purchase the other necessary supplies.  During the week leading up to this day, which also happened to be the day of his first lesson, Keats counted down the days and never stopped talking about the upcoming event.  One night, just before bed, Keats mentioned that his lesson was “x” number of days away and then went on to say, “You know when it’s the day before your birthday and you just hate it so much because you still have to wait another day?”  He quickly ducked out of the room, not usually one to say so much about how he feels, and I smiled and smiled.
Keats’ excitement on the way to the violin shop was only exceeded by the thrill of holding his violin case in his lap on the drive home (unzipped of course so he could admire the violin).  Periodically he would let out a little shriek and I would remind him, “Keats!  Silas is sleeping!”
That evening, at his first lesson, Keats literally didn’t stop bouncing.  Never in my life have I seen him so happy about something, never.  He could barely stay in his seat.  He connected well with his teacher, and left his usual completely silent (with new people) and shy self behind, enthusiastically shouting position and note names and anything else his teacher asked him to do.
Today, Keats practiced twice before lunchtime despite the fact that he isn’t even allowed to touch his bow yet.  I told him to hang onto this excitement so that six months from now when he is sick of practicing he can try to remember what the first day felt like.  Of course, I’ll have this blog post as a record for him.  I don’t think I will have any trouble remembering how grateful I felt to be sitting in that little studio watching him start down this road he has dreamed of for so long.

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